Thursday, May 29, 2008


Here's one news story worth lauding: a rookie policeman in Manila single-handedly fought off a gang of five armed jeepney robbers.

While on foot patrol the other night, Officer 2 Dionisio Dimazana noticed a group of five men get off a Divisoria-bound passenger jeepney at the corner of C.M. Recto and Camba street as the passengers shouted for help. He chased the fleeing suspects. One of them fired a shot at him but missed. Dimazana returned fire, hitting the shooter. When he next aimed his gun at one of the other suspects, the man surrendered without a fight, while the three others managed to escape.

The wounded suspect was rushed by responding policemen to the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center but he died shiortly while undergoing treatment. He was identified as an alleged Batang City Jail gang member, Raymond Jarabo, aged 25. A pen gun was recovered from his possession by the police. A paper bag containing the suspects’ loot – a cellular phone, a jacket and P400 – was also recovered.

A fan knife was recovered from the arrested suspect, also alleged to be a member of the Batang City Jail gang. He was identified as Joel Catala, 25. He gave the names of their companions during interrogation which led to a manhunt for their capture.

While acknowledging complaints of rampant robberies along C.M. Recto Avenue in Binondo, Meisic police station chief Superintendent Nelson Yabut cited the Dimazana's actions as having neutralized the operations of a notorious robbery gang in the area, praising the rookie's prompt response to the crime.

Incidentally, a number of Manila commuters have reported that some jeepney robbery gangs operate during a heavy downpour, assured by the prospects of detection and capture by the police would be nil under such condition.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 12:54 PM


Blogger Unknown said...

The suspect had it coming. We need more police officers like Officer Dimazana---brave, alert and physically fit to chase after suspects.:D Unlike other cops who are too heavy to run after criminals.

May 29, 2008 3:12 PM  

Blogger escape said...

i visit this area once in a while and thank God i didn't had a bad encounter.

May 29, 2008 6:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a courageous police man! may his race multiply.

i have not experienced riding a jeepney with the gangsters (God forbid) but there are a lot of stories. one story is when a jeepney was boarded by thieves and took their loot from all the passengers except from an old man with a basket and with a tattered shirt. they even gave him fare without knowing that he has P15,000 in a pouch inside his trousers. serves them right.

May 29, 2008 10:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree, Luna.

BTW, saw a roundup operations once being conducted by the PNP. They had along with them a couple of young civilians -- barely out of their teens and physically in great shape -- who do the chasing for them ... hahaha!

May 30, 2008 7:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I, too, sometimes visit the are, donG, but usually in the daytime. On a couple of occasions I did venture to Divisoria late at night but with a group for a photo project.

Just like in NYC, Binondo-Divisoria area can be dangerous at night. Precaution has to be taken.

May 30, 2008 8:01 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! As they say, 'judge not a book by its cover!'

Before moving to Manila, Bing, I was sternly forwarned that should I happen to find myself in such perilous situation, to just give everything what the bandits want. No sense in fighting with these guys who have nothing to lose.

May 30, 2008 8:04 AM  

Blogger Lola said...

Is this the area you sometimes mention in your blog, Eric? Is it still safe there? This is one of the problems we have when we go home, relatives only want to expose us to the “nice” area. We can’t even venture out to the Baclaran or Divisoria area to do some shopping because “malugo doon” so we usually just end up in the Makati area, the Roxas Blvd. area and the resorts in the provinces. As a consequence, you looked at the Phil. through rose-colored glasses and you just put all that negative stuff aside. Of course, if it was only me, I would go everywhere although I know my brother would never stand for it.

Hurray to that policeman!

Ingat, Eric.

May 30, 2008 8:04 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Pat, much like New York, even the best places to visit in Manila may not be all that safe to venture into at night. Similarly, robberies and muggings occur in those upscale places you mentioned, though at times omitted from the morning news due to these places' alert PR staff armed with substantial funds to "wine and dine" some press folks.

I guess, best rule of thumb when traveling anywhere in the world is to use common sense and seek safety in numbers; never gallivant alone at night.

May 30, 2008 8:17 AM  

Blogger Lola said...

I just have to add this to my comment. We were at the Dos Palmas resort the year before those tourists were kidnapped by the Abu Sayafs so, like you said, whether or not you are in an upscale area, things can happen. I thanked God a million times and did my thousand novenas when I heard about the kidnapping.

May 30, 2008 9:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are the jeepneys and passersbye?

Photoshop intervention?

May 30, 2008 9:22 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

it's just great to know about cops like officer Dimazana. May his tribe increase, as they say, and may officer Dimazana stay the way he is forever!

I recall reading a program before about keeping the police force in tip-top shape and that there is a policy of "no pot-bellied" cops anymore. Is that still holding?---the program, I mean :-)

May 30, 2008 9:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Officer Dimazana is one hell of a cop! He was outnumbered 5 to 1 and he did not hesitate to go after them. You'll seldom find, if ever, a cop like that in LA or NY. He'll call for a backup first and wait. They always want to have numerical and weapon superiority before they move.

May 30, 2008 9:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh my God, Pat!

I met someone whose husband was one of those taken hostage by the Abu Sayyafs during that incident, and I had read the book written by Marcia Burnham whose husband Masrtin was killed by them. A harrowing experience.

May 30, 2008 9:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

No Photoshop whatsoever, Mandaragat. It was merely a 10-second traffic and pedestrian lull on both sides of the avenue at that particular spot - decisive moment talaga ... hehehe!

May 30, 2008 9:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Every so often you'd see something about it in the news, Bernadette, but I still run into some pear-shaped cops.

Same with New York's finest who encourage its rank and file to maintain a fit and trim look. Easier said than done, as usual :)

May 30, 2008 9:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! that is something! theres still hope then ;-)

i love your shot of avenida. it looks so clean! hahaha! whereabouts is this?

May 30, 2008 10:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Truth be told, bertN, with some thugs brandishing high-powered guns in those US cities you mentioned, I'd think twice as well before daring to run after a group of suspects. I guess, it can be highly-stressful being put in life-or-death-situations on almost a daily basis.

May 30, 2008 12:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Caryn, there is still hope :)

This spot is exactly the front lot of where the famed Avenue Theater once stood on Avenida Rizal in Manila.

May 30, 2008 12:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, Avenida is a scary place to go at night. But at least the cops is a good one and not those rotten cops we have now. :(

I hope we would have a lot of good cops still in the future.

May 30, 2008 2:33 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I have never seen Avenida this clean and deserted, even when I was taking the Rabbit out of Manila at an ungodly hour or 6 am. what time did you take this photo, senor?

May 31, 2008 1:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Avenida isn't all that bad at night since it's well-lit. It's those dark streets and avenues that one must be extra wary of, Equilibrium.

Yes, hopefully, we have more good than bad in our local enforcement force.

May 31, 2008 6:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I took this around 9:30am, PhotoCache. The city does have ample number of street maintenance crew; thus, able to keep our main streets/avenues pretty much under control. However, it may be a different sight altogether during late afternoons and evenings.

May 31, 2008 6:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fairness.... Avenida looks really clean in this pic. Kudos to the maintenance crew.

During these times when schools are about to open, robbery and theft incidences tend to be on the rise.

May 31, 2008 9:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the shot of a deserted Avenida is very surprising. I always thought this street never sleeps :)

Man, these holdups will never cease as long as people have no decent livelihood to support themselves or their families :(

June 01, 2008 8:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Manila's street sweepers are truly diligent in their tasks, Rhoda. But like at said, everything changes by the evening and late night hours, that is, because of too many litterbugs walking the streets of Manila ... hehehe.

June 01, 2008 1:32 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, BW.

June 01, 2008 1:33 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

The street is so clean! A true hero in the streets of Avenida! Salut to Officer Dimazana...kelangan natin ng madaming ganyan...

June 01, 2008 4:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Mirage2g!

June 02, 2008 5:54 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

We need more of Officer Dionisio Dimazana's like.
Most places right now are dangerous, hindi mo alam yung bubulaga na lang sa likod mo.
Just be vigilant and avoid walking alone especially at night in Metro Manila. When I was in college, sa taas ng overpass sa tapat ng USTe, nakakita na ako ng ale na pinapalo niya ng bag niya yung teenager na gustong magnakaw sa kanya, nakatakbo yung teenager kasi hindi alam ng mga taong nagaantay ng jeepney yung nangyari, nang na laman, meron mga humabol, pero malayo na yung teenager. Ngayon, malamang, maraming ayaw na humabol sa mga ganyan.
Thanks to all PNP who are doing their jobs to keep the peace.

June 02, 2008 1:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Alam mo, Reyd, madami na akong narinig na ang mga kapwa natin ang sumasaklolo at humahabol sa mga holdaper kasi bihira ka makakita ng mga pulis na rumoronda, eh.

Sana nga magpakita ng gilas ang mga mahuhusay nating pulis sa PNP.

June 02, 2008 1:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shot Senor! I still prefer the Pedestrianized Avenida,Sayang!That's what I always feel about my Manila,Sayang!I hope one day,all of your photos about Manila will be recognized.Do you have photos of the old bldgs. in Avenida/Manila in this blog Senor?Will you make a photo book about it?I assure you.I'll be your 1st buyer.

June 03, 2008 3:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I am one of those who to this day miss the pedestrianized Avenida. Sayang talaga, but what can we do?

I started taking architectural shots a couple of years ago but dropped the project -- got too dismayed with hanging electrica/telephone lines obscuring the buildings :(

Thank you for the nice words, IndioBravo :)

June 03, 2008 6:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read about that rookie cop in the papers. He's a rookie alright, brave but also lucky. I wouldn't also run after five robbers because I would first assume that all five were armed. The cop was lucky that it turned out only one was armed and had a poor aim at that.

June 04, 2008 6:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Indeed, very lucky of him, Dave. Pero dumadami na naman nga mga holdapan sa Maynila pag gabi na.

June 05, 2008 5:51 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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